Maiden River Cruise to view Proboscis Monkeys in Semporna

River cruises have become an increasingly popular way of exploring and appreciating fascinating aspects of the beauty of Sabah’s nature, especially the wildlife found in the biodiversity-rich mangrove ecosystems. If the idea of cruising along a meandering river and catching glimpses of Proboscis Monkeys, crocodiles, Giant Fruit Bats, scores of fireflies, and other creatures sounds exciting to you, then you should not miss taking a cruise with the Borneo Semporna Proboscis River Cruise, the first of its type to offer river cruises in Semporna.

The main attraction of this river cruise is, as its name depicts, the Proboscis Monkey, a species endemic to Borneo. Although Proboscis Monkeys can live in mixed diterocarp-kerangas forests, mangrove forests and lowland forests near freshwater and rivers, they live almost exclusively in mangrove forests. They depend on the mangroves near river edges to rest and sleep. They tend to avoid deforested areas and human settlements.

This unique monkey belongs to the Asian Langurs and are the only member of the Nasalis genus. The Proboscis Monkey gets its name from its large, fleshy nose. It is also known as Monyet Belanda (Dutch Monkey, in the national language of Malaysia). Both males and females have large noses. The females’ noses are not as large as their male counterparts, but they are larger than other species of monkeys. Juveniles have small upturned noses. The males’ noses are so large that they hang down over their mouths; their noses swell and turn red when they become excited or angry. They also make loud honking sounds as a warning when they sense danger or when they are trying to  attract females. This makes their noses stand out straight.

The river cruise starts at around 3.30p.m. with a 25 minute ride from Semporna town to the Borneo Semporna Proboscis River Cruise Centre in Tunggulangan Village. Upon arrival, visitors take a walk along a 150-meter wooden bridge leading to the centre where visitors can watch and feed long-tailed macaques with guava and bread. Bird watchers can expect to see horn bills, kingfishers and other species. Before setting off on a cruise, visitors enjoy a high-tea of traditional Malay snacks and drinks within a pristine rainforest ambience while enjoying the fresh air in the restaurant on the jetty.

The boat leaves the centre for an hour-long cruise along the Buaya and Pegagau rivers. It is a great way to experience the sights and sounds of nature in a tranquil environment filled with a diversity of riverine wildlife that includes Proboscis Monkeys, Long-Tailed Macaques, Pig-Tailed Macaques, Giant Fruit Bats, crocodiles and birds. By late evening, fireflies light up the dark sky, decorating the mangroves in a magical way.

Read more about First Proboscis Monkey in Semporna on this website.